Skip to content
Aurora Institute

What’s New in K-12 Competency-Based Education?

CompetencyWorks Blog

What's NewEquity Resources


  • Student-Centered Learning Data Library – On the Students at the Center Hub, KnowledgeWorks has launched a library of data that describe the impacts of student-centered and competency-based approaches on student learning and other key outcomes. They welcome your visits and your submissions of new findings.
  • Project-Based Learning is an Effective Lever for Student Success – Lucas Education Research recently completed four rigorous studies of project-based learning, an essential element of competency-based education. They found positive impacts on academic engagement measures across a diverse range of students, ages, locations, and academic disciplines. Research briefs on the four studies are available here.

Competency-Based Education Resources

  • Deepening Project-Based Learning: Lessons from Powerful New Research and Practice – In this webinar sponsored by Lucas Education Research and the Aurora Institute, district leaders, professional learning experts, and researchers share insights to advance project-based learning practices in your school or district. The event begins with key findings from the four new project-based learning studies described above.
  • International Big Picture Learning Credential – Big Picture Learning recently connected us with their network partners in Australia, who have developed a personalized form of assessment to portray a student’s distinctive learning, with “no ranking or scaling students against each other.” Forty percent of Australian universities have signed on to accept this credential.
  • Five Steps for Building & Strengthening Students’ Networks – This new playbook by the Christensen Institute distills strategies, tools, and metrics for building and strengthening students’ networks. They frame investing in networks as an equity imperative, recognizing that opportunity is a combination of both what students know and who students know.

Summer Professional Learning

  • Global Online Academy – Week-long competency-based learning courses including From Grading to Feedback, From Time-Based to Performance-Based, From Lessons to Learning Experiences, From Educator-Designed to Co-Designed, and From Content-Driven to Skills-Driven. Also several others focused on key topics for remote competency-based learning.
  • Great Schools Partnership – Multi-day summer institutes on fostering student engagement, implementing professional learning groups, designing better advisory systems, and learning and leading for racial equity.
  • New Hampshire Learning Initiative – The annual Powerful Learning Conference will take place on three Tuesdays in July and offer opportunities to explore performance assessment, developing student portfolios, increasing student agency and self-direction, and building community partnerships and paid internship capacity.
  • PBLWorks – A variety of courses, workshops, and keynotes to advance your ability to create high-quality project-based learning experiences with students and how school and district leadership teams can support the conditions for PBL to thrive.

Eliot Levine is the Aurora Institute’s Research Director and leads CompetencyWorks.

Follow @Eliot_Levine